The bad guys can masquerade as someone you trust

The bad guys can masquerade as someone you trust

It is amazingly easy (you will have the knowledge to do so shortly as you proceed through this text!) to create a packet with an arbitrary source address, packet content, and destination address and then transmit this hand-crafted packet into the Internet, which will dutifully forward the packet to its destination. Imagine the unsuspecting receiver (say an Internet router) who receives such a packet, takes the (false) source address as being truthful, and then performs some command embedded in the packet's  contents (say modifies its forwarding table). The ability to inject packets into the Internet with a false source address is known as IP spoofing, and is but one of many ways in which one user can masquerade as another user.

To solve this problem, we will need end-point authentication, that is, a mechanism that will allow us to decide with certainty if a message originates from where we think it does, Once again, we encourage you to think about how this can be done for network applications and protocols as you progress through the sections of this blog. We will explore mechanisms for end-point authentication in "Security in Computer Networks".


ip spoofing, network application, packets

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